Not another back thread !!

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by oldagecrafty, Jul 22, 2006.

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  1. 8O
    Ok so I know that this forum is flooded with posts asking about lower back dramas and I know that the advice is to see a specialist......but here goes anyway. :roll:

    I have had a "lower back problem" for 18 months now and due to being posted three times in this period have had some real dramas with getting some continious physio. Each MO/Physio has given me a differing opinion ranging from a trapped cyiatic/femural nerve to muscle damage around the small bones running of to the left and right of vertabrae ( excuse my description ).

    The symptoms I have are stiffness across lower back and into buttocks (dull ache in mornings) especially if I have to spend any ammount of time seated in cheap "classroom" style chairs. Sometimes I have shooting pains in left leg and sometimes numbness and pins and needles in right leg ( depends on how I am standing if that makes sense ). Also something I have real problems describing to MO/Physio is my gait. I feels like my pelvis moves with hips when walking, feel like I am walking like John Wayne ( feel my shoulder leading with each step ).

    The physio I am under at the moment has me doing 4x15 sets of stretches ( like a type of press up with legs/hips on floor extending arms ) everyday and my symptoms have reduced now to an occasional dull ache in lower back ( again more in the morning for roughly first half hour till I am up and about warmed up etc ) but still the John walk. I had been biking,doing core muscle excercises, using a cross trainer as well as press ups and dips and taking it easy on the sit ups.

    I am 6"2 large build and my weight is 95Kg could probably lose a couple of kilos be I am not flabby just big( oh yes also 31 ).

    When I was a civvy I always had lower back pain but thought this was due to ten years of building work and all the heavy lifting involved. Now that I have had four years of hard training it has obviously magnified the problem.

    I have started rehab several times but usually within a week my symptoms have all come back and it takes about 4-6 weeks for them to subside and then back to square one.I am now starting to get a little frustrated and down because I seem to be going around in circles.Its mainly running that seems to be causing the problems. I have decent trainers and try not to run to upright as extension is my problem apparently.

    Like I stated at the start of my waffle I know I should see a specialist but with financial and work commitments twinned with the area I live in (not UK) it is going to be hard, not impossilble but hard and I also dont see why I shouild have to dip into my pocket use holiday etc.

    Is there any procedure/system I can use to get a specialist to look at my back and have the army square it away for me.

    Congratulations to anyone that can make head or tail of this post and thanks to any replies in advance
  2. Sounds like the sciatic (sp?) nerve mate. Just go to your MO and tell him that you want it sorted out. Have a word with your Unit PTI's as well. They may be able to point you in the direction of a decent physio. I know it's stating the obvious but backs, like knees, are complicated things and if you don't get it sorted and it gets seriously fcuked, then it's likely to stay that way.
  3. Please read my post, I have already done what you have mentioned and to no prevail.

    The I am asking is, do the army have a system in place to refer me to a specialist ?

    I am not even going to attempt to spell the technical term for back cracker for fear of the spell check police!!

    I would also aprreciate it if any "experts" out the have any handy info for me so I can explain myself a bit better than " It hurts here mate "
  4. Dear ageoldcrafty,

    Yes, dodgy things backs. And also difficult to diagnose because there are so many contributing factors. I had much the same problem as you: going from one doc to the next and so I decided to self-medicate (y'know what we ex-RAMC types are like).

    The exercises you're doing, i.e. raising your upper body while keeping your pelvis on the ground, are the right ones and you should do them religiously every morning and every evening. You might want to supplement them with the following exercise: place your hands stiff-armed on the edge of a table (at your height, a kitchen work-surface may be better, but try out which brings the most benefit to you), then drop your pelvis to sag towards the floor as far as it'll go. At the same time, try to stretch the backs of your legs as much as you can by keeping your feet flat on the floor. This will help to stretch tendons, muscles and nerves which may have contracted slightly. You'll also find that this exercise will alleviate the stiffness and ache after sitting or lying down for a while. You can do it anywhere, even if you have to nip into the bog and grab the edge of the sink.

    Your "John Wayne Turkey Walk" is caused by your body trying to maintain a posture in which the pain is lessened. There's not much you can do about that until the general condition improves, although walking is one of the best therapies for it.

    The improvement won't happen overnight, but if you persevere, as you must, then three months or so should see a dramatic change in your condition. Once you can move around and walk fairly normally, you should then be looking at specific physical drill to improve the strength of your lower back muscles. If your docs or physios don't have much of a clue about that, PM me and I'll send you a few lower back drills.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Bugsy, this sounds just the thing. Could you give a little more information on how the exercise that you do while lying on the ground is best done? I have been to several different physios / osteopaths and they all say different things.

    Te basic problem is that I hyperextended my lower back doing a badly-executed dive, about two years ago, and have had stiffness and pain since. Four months ago I pulled it by lifting something heavy, and it swelled up massively on the left hand side. It still hasn't fully gone down (painfully obvious when I touch my toes) and feels very tight - especailly bad when I sit down for long periods. I need to sort it out for my main board (which I am not going to take until I am sure it is fixed).
    Any further suggestions?
  6. It could be Ankylosing Spondylitis. I've got it and your symptoms match.
    If a blood test shows up the HLA27 gene, chances are that's what you have.

  7. hell!